Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center began in 2006 with two students and a whole lot of faith.
Bonnie Rachael opened the center in her backyard in Guyton, Georgia, after finding an article about a similar program in a flyer at church.
Knowing this was something God called her to, she began the process of obtaining her certification through PATH International. The center began to slowly transform over time, each year adding riders, volunteers and horses.
In 2014, the property doubled to ten acres. In 2015, the foundation was laid for the Danielle Collins Covered Arena to be built in memory of Bonnie’s first student.
God is on the move and by faith we will continue to see Him at work here in the years to come!
Sponsor a Horse
Make a Donation
Sign Up a Rider
Frequently Asked Questions
What is therapeutic riding?
Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. It provides benefits in the areas of health, education, sport and recreation & leisure. See Pathintl.org for more information.
Why the horse?
A horse is the only animal whose walk reflects that of the human and it can be very beneficial for riders who have difficulty and are unable to walk. Riders with sensory disorders also find that it provides input which can provide a calming effect even after the lesson is over. Riders with physical disabilities also find that it offers them an independence and “normalcy” that is difficult for them to achieve anywhere else. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the horse is its ability to see past the rider’s disability and build a bond with that rider.
What is PATH Intl.?
PATH International is the organization that promotes equine-assisted activities. PATH offers certifications for instructors and accredits centers in order to uphold high standards of safety and excellence in the industry. Faith Equestrian is a premier PATH International center and all of our instructors are certified through PATH.
Board of Directors
Executive Director / Volunteer Coordinator
Dana Starr grew up in metropolitan Atlanta and received her BA in Communication from Columbus State University. She has logged numerous hours of volunteer work throughout many states ranging from being a Battalion Family Readiness Group Leader with the U.S. Army to assisting with PTA/PTO programs in schools. Helping those in need, either emotionally or physically, has always been a passion of hers. “Watching someone’s face as they complete a milestone or something they never thought they could accomplish is the most rewarding part of helping others. You smile in return as smiling is contagious and heals the soul!” She moved to Effingham County in 2016 and lives in Guyton with three sons and Edgar, their Staffordshire terrier. Spending time at the beach and boating, whether on a lake or an ocean, is her absolute favorite thing to do. She is also an avid reader.
Barn Manager & Program Development
Elizabeth Todd has been involved with horses since she was eight years old. She now holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching and is certified through PATH International as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She is also certified through Eagala as an Equine Specialist. Since 2014, Elizabeth has worked in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Assisted Therapy, and Therapeutic Riding. She joined Faith Equestrian in September 2021 with her Goldendoodle Raphael, and RJ, a registered AQHA working cow horse.
Assistant Barn Manager/ Instructor
Alexandria Hurd is from Dallas, Texas and in her senior year at the Savannah College of Art and Design studying Illustration and Equine Studies. She has a lifelong passion for horses and grew up competing nationally in hunters and jumpers on the A-Circuit. Seeing the abundant ways horses can heal sparked her interest in therapeutic riding. Alexandria is also an accomplished painter, specializing in Equine Art. She is currently working towards completing the certification through PATH International as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.
Ansley Waters grew up in Savannah and recently graduated from Georgia Southern University with her BA focusing in Business, Non-profit Management, and Psychology. She has been working with and riding horses for almost 12 years. She began volunteering with Faith Summer of 2021 and then began instructing the able-bodied lessons Fall of 2021. Ansley also spent time being a swim instructor to individuals with special needs. She is currently working towards completing the certification through PATH International as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.